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Ipod touches in Mathematics

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Nazard, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Welcome. Sorry if you don't feel the responses you have received so far are constructive. A glance at other, similar threads would lead you to expect this sort of reply, though! Also (as mentioned by someone else) it would be good to hear your current ideas - if only so we don't repeat them all.

    Two further thoughts to add to the mix (both negative, I'm afraid):

    1] At the moment ipod touch is still fairly cool and modern kit. In three years time it will look as old and clunky as those mobile phones from the 1980s.

    2] I did a cool lesson with the Yr 9 bottom set where we used screenshots from the ipod game 'Train Conductor'. In this game if you crash the trains you lose 10% of your score. I just used it as a hook and a reason for working out 10% of lots of numbers. We didn't actually play the game in class, but they continued to talk about it months later ("my nan's got that train game on her phone", etc). It provided a pleasant lesson and nice social lubrication for the future and wasn't negative in any way. Can they work out 10% of a number reliably, 12 months on? Nope. Worth doing? Probably not.

    I am looking forward to hearing what you have already planned. Please keep coming back to give us updates.
  2. This comment seems a little unfair, perhaps even offensive if I've taken the tone correctly.
    The people who have replied to your post are always looking for innovative ways of teaching mathematics, which is why they post here regularly and their opinions are held in such high regard. They are also aware that gimmicky things like this don't necessarily bring any real educational gain. That's not to say they don't, but a certain amount of skepticism is healthy in this area.
    I have seen literally tens of thousands of pounds WASTED in technology in my school. The reason it's wasted is because it has been used to buy things which have not increased standards or even students' enjoyment of mathematics.
    We have looked at many of these technologies but have yet to see a use beyond the initial novelty. We have always come to the conclusion that the money would be better spent elsewhere, such as new physical resources like shapes, games, number fan type equipment, innovative resource books, computer packages etc etc. These are cheaper and add real value to student learning and student experience, when deployed by a teacher who knows what they are doing. Imagine the CPD you could buy in for that amount of money - sharing and learning ideas would be much more valuable.
    Furthermore, personally I detest the idea of bringing iPods/iPads into education. The students I teach at least, are so hooked on their mobiles and iPods that to be separated from them causes real anxiety and distress, and these, in my humble opinion, should remain entertainment devices for outside the classroom.
    You won't like what I've written, but this is a genuine response from a fellow education professional.
  3. A few years ago people were buying Nintendo DS devices for use in class. I wonder how much those are being used, now that they're not novel to kids any more and most households have 3 or 4 in various drawers around the house that they've lost the chargers for?
    (I never could work out in the first place what they could contribute to a maths lesson, actually - can anyone enlighten me?)
    Also Aimee, on Personal people sometimes say deliberately negative or provocative things. After about 9 years of reading these boards, I think I can say that on Maths people mostly just say what they truly think. Don't just discount people's views because they aren't what you were expecting!
  4. Although I share the general scepticism, thought I'd throw out an appI found mathematically interesting: "Slice it", which has you dividing up shapes into various numbers of equal parts. There's a fair bit of geometrical thinking involved: recognizing "If I divide this line in 3, I'll end up with three triangles with the same height, so if the base lengths are equal, the areas will be" etc.
  5. maths126

    maths126 New commenter

    I think I would use an iPad in class, connected to the whiteboard, and demonstrate "App of the Month" in the final ten minutes or so of the week's lessons - especially in that Friday afternoon slot. I would then mention it in the school's weekly take-home or online Newsletter and encourage the children to get it themselves or try to find something similar for their own brand of smartphone.

    Like others here I would question the wisdom of just buying a class set. How is that differet from suggesting an English Department buy a class set of Kindles? Portable ICT, as others have said, is already in the hands of the students.

    Anyway, you asked for some app suggestions.

    On my iPad at the moment I have a 'Maths' folder of apps which contains these gems:

    1) MagicOfPi - the digits, the history, formulae, memory trainer etc

    2) Mathemagics - Learn and practise a variety of tricks to speed up mental calculation

    3) Mathscard from Loughborough University - because I lost the paper one!

    4) Wolfram|Alpha - only useful if you have WiFi access though
    5) Fast Fractal - Pretty pictures exploring Mandelbrot and Julia sets, with some advanced tweaking possible

    6) TouchCalc - After exploring all the options for a Scientific/Statistical calculator this was the best I could find

    7) FormulusHD - A well-organised collection of Maths formulae (but not statistical ones)

    8) SpaceTime - Seems to be considered the ultimate offline programmable graphing calculating environment (think Mathematica to get a sense of its scope). For those times when you need to do Fast Fourier Transforms on the bus.

    9) Apollonius - a Ruler and Compass construction environment

    10) Euclid - Presented in a brilliant game format (e.g. solve 'segment bisector' to unlock it as a tool for solving 'perpendicular through a point') as you work through about 30 levels of increasing complexity

    11) Combine Four - Solve the '24' puzzle as quickly as you can

    12) iMathematics - Good Maths textbook with some interactivity (eg quadratics solver)

    Some Logic/Maths-themed Games:


    SuDoku (of course!) - a good one is AWSudoku although hundreds of others exist

    Rush Hour (Getting the car out of the car park by sliding the others)

    Logic Puzzles (like the magazine)

    Drainworks (control a continuous stream of water and try to direct it into the container by tilting, deflecting etc)

    NumCruncher (a bit like Bejewelled but with numbers)

    Plus of course all the classic games: Chess, Bridge, Othello, Mancala, Ingenious, Blokus, Tantrix, Cribbage, Niggle, Farkle, Yahtzee etc.
  6. September

    September New commenter

    I too have looked into the possibility of purchasing smartphones, tablets etc and have decided against it. I had a discussion lesson with a Year 11 class on the use of these items for educational purposes and only one student out of 30 had ever downloaded an app for educatonal purposes. This student had also downloaded maths songs as we use them a lot in lessons. We then went onto the internet and started to source useful educational apps, Those that had phones that could download apps did so. They downloaded mathscard and then were surprised at how many other educational apps there were. Since this discussion lesson they have been telling me of new apps that they are using. Several of them use the apps on bus on the way to school. There is a purpose for it but it does not need to be in the classroom.
    I liked the suggestion of looking at apps for a small time at the end of a lesson and the App of the month. Hopefully the Applications (APP's) will now take their rightful place over APP(Assessing Pupil Progress).!
  7. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Just a word to the wise, Jason: when in the past there have been posters who pop up and say wonderful things about a single website some of the people who read and post on this forum have had the unworthy idea that they may be linked to that website in some way. Maybe they are employed by the site, or are friends with the developers.
    Given that the website currently has two resources under the Mathematics section I don't think it will be of much interest to those on this forum. Particularly because one of those two resources is also apparently relevant for 234 other subjects (yes, really!) and the other is called "Year 3 Pirate Word Problems" and costs £1 to download.
    Ooh - by the way - there are lots of, cough, free resources to download from this brilliant website called www.tes.co.uk

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